Vudu Kat, also known as Alex Clark ’11, and, armed with a videocamera and a Facebook fan page, Clark was poised to restore the genre to its golden days—the music of the 80s. It’s what old-school hip-hop heads call “the real hip-hop,” characterized by the artist’s meaningful rhymes born of inspiration, passion, and protest— a distant relative of today’s hip-hop scene.
Oglethorpe Blog heard about the lyricist (no one calls them rappers anymore) at OU’s Student Activities Fair, and Vudu Kat shared with us his latest project at the time, a “freestyle” video diary that he’ll perform once a day, for one year. Since starting the project, Clark’s Youtube channel rose in popularity, and caught the eye of Del, one of underground hip-hop’s most popular artists. The two worked on a collaboration in October 2010.
Clark says he got the idea from a colleague, who had mentioned that she wanted to write a single piece of poetry once a day for a week, but ran out of ideas. Clark’s problem was the exact opposite. “I have never been faced with a moment when I didn’t have a random or creative idea…I usually have around 20 things in my mind at once and have trouble sticking to one. I think doing a daily video and verse help me to relieve myself of some of that pent-up creativity and it would be fun to have something to show for it.”
The Art major was a big fan of non-mainstream artists that showcase intonation and flow and says that it would take him “around 8 hours and 20 pages to explain what he truly thinks is wrong with hip-hop. Mostly it’s top 40 radio playlists and spineless DJs supporting the mainstream “pop-rap” that the younger generation listens to instead of finding real artists…I think there should be more female hip-hop artists who don’t even refer to sex or their bodies. I think there should be less auto-tuning and manipulation on vocal tracks. Songs need to either have a message or reflect life. Real life. Anything else is just a cause for escapism.”
Though Clark had his hands in many creative outlets, including drawing, printmaking and producing beats for other artists, he is an MC at heart. He spent about an hour each day writing music and recording them in his dorm studio. He served as the creator and art director for Telefunkin‘, OU’s art and local culture magazine, but, he said, keeping busy inspires his creativity even more.
“It’s funny. One would think that taking 4-5 hours a day for class, clubs, and studies would severely stifle artistic creation, said Clark. “Surprisingly, I generally get to interact with ‘intelligent, liberal-arts-type people’ who give me a lot of great ideas. I think that going to printmaking class for three hours and making a work of physical art is no different than skittering around my room making a beat.”